Coq au vin
Coq au vin is a truly authentic classic French dish known the world over. Chef owner Jérôme Fernandes of La Réserve Brasserie has mastered this delicacy to such an extent that it is without doubt one of the most popular and finest dishes on his restaurant’s menu. Coq au vin is a French dish of braised chicken with red wine, lardons, mushrooms, and pearl onions, which served by Jérôme with an accompaniment of delectable creamy potato. There are few things quite so enjoyable as this model dish cooked by Jérôme with sincerity and respect. Jérôme has shared a simplified version of his time-honoured recipe and some secrets with us so that you can enjoy coq au vin at home with your family whenever you cannot make it to La Réserve Brasserie!
Marinate you chicken overnight. This is important for the best results;
Tell your butcher what you are cooking to source a quality local free-range or organic bird. Also older birds will make a richer sauce;
The chicken pieces should be seared, colored, and flambéed before cooking;
A fruity, big-flavoured / full-bodied wine like a Burgundy is recommended, though there is no need to spend a lot; and
This dish is best when rested and reheated for service.
The Ingredients – Serves six.
– 1.8kg to 2kg chicken cut into 8 joints
– 2 bottles of red wine (preferably pinot noir)
– 140g bacon lardon (French bacon) or Irish bacon
– 24 pearl onions
– 1 large onion
– 3 large carrots
– 1 cloves garlic crushed
– 150g button mushrooms
– 5 shallots
– 25g butter
– 2 tbsp vegetable oil
– Bouquet garni: thyme, bay leaves, 1 stick celery
– Salt and ground black peppercorns
– 1/4 litre chicken stock
– 1 shot glass of Marc de Bourgogne or brandy
– Chopped parsley
– Puréed potatoes, to serve
Step One – Day one – Preparation of the marinade:
Place the chicken, three large carrots – peeled and diced, one large diced onion, bouquet garni and red wine into a large bowl until the ingredients are covered. Keep in the marinade in the fridge overnight allowing it to rest.
Step two – Day two – Ready for cooking:
Separate the chicken and vegetables from marinade. Discard the onions.
Cut the bacon into short strips – not quite as thick as your little finger. You can purchase your bacon lardons already cut in strips.
Heat a large saucepan. Add in the bacon lardons and cook until crisp and golden on a moderate heat, stirring from time to time. Do not burn the lardons. If you are using regular bacon (rashers) add 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil to your pan. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
Peel and chop the shallots. Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring the pan often, for 4-6 minutes until golden. Remove and keep aside with the bacon lardons.
Put the oil and butter into a hot pan (thick-bottomed casserole dish, if you have one). Add the chicken pieces to the pan (so that they have room to colour), turning them regularly, for 5-8 minutes until golden. This is important for the flavour of the dish. Remove and set aside with the bacon lardons. You will notice a thin film on the bottom of your pan – this is where a lot of the flavour of the dish will come from. Don’t remove this.
Peel the garlic and place it into the pan and cook briefly, add the chopped carrots from the marinade. Return the chicken and bacon lardons to the pan.
Then with the heat medium-high, pour in the Marc de Bourgogne or brandy and flambé, stirring the bottom of the pan to deglaze. The alcohol should sizzle and start to evaporate so there is not much left.
Add the chicken stock, the bouquet garni and the red wine from the marinade so that the chicken is covered. Season with pepper, salt, and a pinch of sugar. Cover with a lid, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for 50 minutes to an hour.
Step 3 – The finishing touches:
When the chicken is cooked, it should be soft but not falling from its bones. Lift the chicken pieces from the pan and place into a separate bowl. Pass the cooking liquid through a chinois (or sieve), straining the sauce into a large, clean pan, discarding bouquet garni, keeping the lardons and vegetables. Place the pan with the sauce on a high heat and let it bubble until it has reduced a little. As it reduces the sauce will become thicker and quite glossy. It should not however be thick.
Glazed pearl onions: Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the pearl onions. Cook, tossing occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add 50cl water and a sprig of thyme. Stir occasionally, until the onions are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes.
Button mushroom: Heat oil for the mushrooms in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the mushrooms and let them cook over a high heat for a few minutes until golden. Season with salt and pepper.
Return the chicken and bacon lardons to the sauce and add the pearl onions and the button mushrooms allowing the flavours to combine.
Transfer to a warmed serving dish.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with puréed potato.
The dish can prepared in advance and served the following day. It is perfect for a dinner party or a family occasion and its flavour improves after a day in the fridge!
Chef Jérôme Fernandes
Jérôme Fernandes, of Burgundy, France was influenced at an early age by his grandmother from Brittany who had a natural flair for classical French cuisine. He graduated from culinary school in Dijon and trained under the renowned two-star Michelin chef Jean-Marc Delacourt, formerly of Domaine de Divonne les Bains, and chef René Bérard of Hostellerie Bérard. Jérôme went on to work at other prestigious establishments throughout France and Switzerland before relocating to Ireland in 1997. In Dublin, Jérôme worked in Peacock Alley and the Conrad International Hotel, amongst other fine establishments, before being offered the opportunity to work with Ritz Carlton hotels in the United States at an executive level. His talent was instantly noted and Jérôme was asked to take on the responsibility for new openings for the group in the United States and the Caribbean. It was always Jérôme’s aspiration to open his own restaurant and he is delighted to be able to share his love for good food at affordable prices in Ranelagh, where he has now settled. Jérôme is inspired by authentic and exceptional flavours and his cuisine brings pride to seasonal produce.
For more information on La Réserve click HERE